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Friday, July 16, 1999

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  • Republicans Healthcare Reform "Empty Promise"

    This week, the Senate made some key votes on health care and health maintenance organizations, or HMOs. Yesterday, with a vote of 53 to 47, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a health bill that President Clinton called an empty promise, and House Democrats dismissed as too little. Defeated were a number of provisions, including one that would have allowed patients harmed by medical decisions to sue to their health plans for damages. Republicans insist their plan is superior and less costly. The issue now goes to the House of Representatives.

  • Africa Growth and Opportunity Act

    This week, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a major legislation that relates to Africa. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (HR-434) is dubbed as NAFTA for Africa. Critics of HR-434 say it protects pharmaceutical corporate giants by providing incentives for nations to adopt restrictive intellectual property rules that will keep the costs of AIDS treatments high. They also say it promotes IMF-style austerity — and cuts in education and public health spending, which will have a severe impact on nations that are already being devastated by HIV and AIDS.

  • War and Peace Report

    The UN’s refugee agency says ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are killing, kidnapping and kicking out the Serb minority. The agency says it is increasingly alarmed by the brutal attacks.